By Julia Heita
Dionisia Jonas (25), a makeup artist in Windhoek, has never seen normalcy in her business since Covid-19 came last year. Jonas has been living a life of uncertainty without a guaranteed income because of persistent changed in regulations.
Even more worrying is that her job is highly risk and exposes her to different clients, some who might be infected with the pandemic.
Her story is not peculiar, but an overwhelming reality of most SMEs in the country.
“It’s very challenging to know whether the client has the virus or not, but I have COVID-19 related screening questions to ask clients ahead of their appointment, ” she told The Villager.
She said the question-and-answer session with clients before any kind of service is meant to protect her and her fellow workers.
“If the client has any of these symptoms, however mild, clients have to stay at home and reschedule or rather cancel their appointment,” she said.
Despite the challenges of Covid 19 she said it’s not all doom and gloom as she has managed to expand her business model to help generate revenue that off sets some of the losses in her makeup business.
“The clientele base is not as big as it used to be before the outbreak, so we have had a few obstacles along the way, but overall, it has been a great experience and it has taught us to always be prepared for the unknown. But I also think COVID has also exposed the vulnerability of small businesses and how we are so fragile in the face of pandemic and economic calamities,” she said.
Businesswoman Fransina Akwenye says that the prohibition of sales of alcohol on weekends has crippled her business and can barely see if she’s making a profit.
“The young people that usually come support no longer come due to the regulations, people can’t drink during the week because they have to work the next day and other responsibilities during the week, the only chance they get to buy alcohol is on weekends, but the sale of alcohol is prohibited,” she stressed.
Fransina said that she makes sure that all her customers have access to sanitisers and wear masks when around her business place.
“I even advice my customers to get vaccinated because we need to get over with this pandemic, it is very stressful and we are tired of having to always fight with law enforcers when trying to put bread on the table,” she said